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Do not be surprised, Philip, that I am going to begin, not with the discourse which is to be addressed to you and which is presently to be brought to your attention, but with that which I have written about Amphipolis.1 For I desire to say a few words, by way of preface, about this question, in order that I may make it clear to you as well as to the rest of the world that it was not in a moment of folly that I undertook to write my address to you, nor because I am under any misapprehension as to the infirmity2 which now besets me, but that I was led advisedly and deliberately to this resolution.

1 Amphipolis, a city in Macedonia near the mouth of the Strymon river, conquered and colonized by Athenians in 437 B.C. It was taken by Philip in 358 B.C., but the war with Athens was delayed until Philip seized Potidaea, 356 B.C.

2 Isocrates had now passed his ninetieth birthday.

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